The second edition of the African women in agriculture-based enterprises award was launched Monday by the Nairobi-based Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) amid calls to leverage gender parity and tackle the continent’s endemic food insecurity.
According to the AGRA, submissions for the 2022 Women Agripreneur of the Year Awards (WAYA) had begun, with the aim of recognizing female entrepreneurs and innovators excelling in Africa’s agricultural value chains.
The winners of the award, which seeks to reward female pioneers in agricultural innovations and enterprises, will be announced at the African Green Revolution Forum slated for Sept. 5-7 in Rwanda, according to the AGRA.
A cash prize of 20,000 U.S. dollars will be awarded to the winners who demonstrated the ability to transform agricultural value chains in Africa through value addition, harnessing innovations and appropriate technologies.
Agnes Kalibata, the president of AGRA, said the award that is part of the Value4Her initiative aims to motivate women to venture into agribusinesses as a means to tackle poverty, food insecurity and gender inequalities.
“Women provide up to 50 percent of agricultural labor force, contribute up to 70 percent of food production and account for 80 percent of food processors,” Kalibata remarked. “They (women) represent a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy through their roles as farmers, laborers and entrepreneurs.”
Kalibata noted that African women farmers were grappling with myriad bottlenecks including an absence of land tenure, inability to access capital, farm inputs and markets, hence the need to empower them through fiscal incentives.
According to Kalibata, the Value4Her program has improved the performance of women-led agricultural enterprises by facilitating access to markets, finance and peer learning. Enditem